Jennifer’s research involves asking questions about ‘relatedness’, affinities, and connectedness in everyday personal lives. She has an enduring interest in kinship in particular, as well as other forms of relationship and association. In her more recent work she has been developing her interests in ecological sociology and 'socio-atmospherics', exploring connections between human and non-human worlds, including her recent study of how people 'live the weather' and seasons in and around the Calder Valley in the Yorkshire Pennines. That project resulted in a book of prose and poetry by Jennifer's 'weather correspondents', and a documentary film. As an indication of the range of her interests, other recent projects (all conducted collaboratively with colleagues in the Morgan Centre) have included a study of family resemblances; a study of 'critical associations' (including positive and more 'toxic' forms of friendship and association); and a study of the way children create kinship with others. Her book 'Affinities: Personal Connections in Personal Life', is published by Polity, 2018.
Throughout Jennifer’s research career, she has also cultivated a very strong interest in the methodologies that social scientists can use to explore these kinds of questions and generally to generate meaningful knowledge of lived realities. This has broadened into an interest in methodology and epistemology more generally. She is particularly interested in qualitative, creative and mixed method approaches, in 'Facet Methodology' (an approached developed by the 'Realities' ESRC NCRM team) and in the challenge for social scientists of creating vibrant and resonant knowledge that lives up to the richness and vitality of real life experience, yet which is also robust and rigorous. The third edition of her bestselling book Qualitative Researching, is published by Sage, 2018.